Love, loss and some fodder for the soul

Love, loss and some fodder for the soul

October

Hindi (U)

Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao

Director: Shoojit Sircar

Rating: ***

October thrives on the unsaid. And it's beautifully incomplete.

Shoojit Sircar gleefully avoids the familiar tear drill associated with Bollywood's hospital genre. What he gives in October, instead, is a calendar of love-and-loss events that firmly place a fairly good lump in the throat.

There is not even a shred of melodrama. Oddly enough, the girl who gets all the attention is strapped to the bed, expressionless.

Director Shoojit Sircar leaves a lot of blanks to be filled in by one's imagination, while writer Juhi Chaturvedi closes the gaps with loud and clear silences.

Varun Dhawan finds a sure footing with Dan a faltering trainee in the hospitality industry. With a rare innocence and a boyish charm to match, Dhawan embraces the role of his lifetime. 'Understated' hasn't figured in his scheme of things so far, but the actor just proves that his craft can go beyond a Judwaa or two.

As the unlikely hero goes about exploring emotions that till now he didn't know existed, the movie throws up some fragrant lessons amid autumn blooms.

But, no sermons here. It's such a relief that even the mother of the comatose girl (a hauntingly effective Gitanjali Rao) doesn't subscribe to the wail club. October's major strength is its "normal" cast that speaks in a familiar language.

Banita Sandhu, despite the limitations of her role, does an earnest act. As Shiuli (which means night jasmine, the recurring motif in the movie), she chronicles the pathos of a life confined to hospital.

Those fed on regular Bollywood fare won't find anything really "happening" here. The others are bound to take Shiuli's neurologist seriously. "Have patience. The soul is always conscious."

And October is fodder for the soul.

Angel Rani

 

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